DAWNINGS: Face mask spiritual growth plan - Odessa American: Columns

DAWNINGS: Face mask spiritual growth plan

By The Rev. Dr. Dawn Weaks, Pastor, Connection Christian Church | Posted: Saturday, June 13, 2020 5:30 am

Our faith grows when we employ it daily.

Consider something you are doing regularly: wearing a face mask. I dearly hope you are doing it regularly, anytime you are around others outside your home, since our COVID-19 cases continue to rise in our county. We know that wearing face masks helps us and our neighbors stay healthy.

Can wearing a face mask, as annoying as it can be, also increase our spiritual health? Maybe our face mask is a step towards becoming more of who God intends us to be. How so?

First, when we put on a face mask, we are putting on the attitude that it is not all about me. It is so easy for me to only care about myself and what I need to get done for me and my family on a given day. But when I put a mask on, I have to stop, think about others, and consider how what I do affects them. Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, and he will help us do it (Mark 12:31).

Second, when we put on a face mask, we change how we see the world. In the words of Rev. Karin Carlson, a face mask helps us to keep our mouths closed, and our eyes open. With limited ability to speak, we can look around and see what we have missed before. We can notice the cashier who is doing her best for us. We can see the elderly man and let him go in line before us. We can use our eyes better when we are not using our mouths. As the writer of Ephesians prays for us, “I pray your eyes will be opened enough to see the hope of God.” (Ephesians 1:18)

Third, when we wear a face mask, it changes our appearance. It messes up our hair a little and maybe makes us feel a little awkward. In a society that values appearance as much as ours does, we could all use this reset. Instead of judging ourselves and others on how clear our skin is or straight our teeth are, we can let that go. After all, the prophet Samuel taught us that humans look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

I am looking forward to the day when we will see each other face to face again. Until that day, may we all grow in our faith, hope, and love.